European Grand Prix for Choral Singing

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The European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (in French, Grand Prix European de Chant Choral, commonly abbreviated as European Choral Grand Prix or GPE) is an annual choral competition between the winners of six European choral competitions. It was inaugurated in 1989.

Despite its name, the GPE is not limited to European choirs; this is because choirs from any country can join the choral competitions in any of the GPE's member-cities. As of 2007, one choir from Japan and two choirs from the United States have won the GPE, while a choir from the Philippines has won the GPE twice. In addition, the contest is not limited to adult choirs; two of the grand prize-winning choirs are children's choirs.

As of 2013, three choirs have won the EGP twice: the Philippine Madrigal Singers[1][2] (1997 and 2007), APZ Tone Tomšič (2002 and 2008)[3] and Jauniesu koris "Kamer..." (2004 and 2013).[4]

As of 2010 only one conductor won the EGP twice: Stojan Kuret (2002 and 2010).

Organizing committee and member cities[edit]

The GPE is organized by the organizing committees of the following choral competitions, from which the GPE contenders are selected:

  1. Concorso Polifónico Guido d'Arezzo (International Guido d'Arezzo Polyphonic Contest) - Arezzo, Province of Arezzo, Italy
  2. Béla Bartók International Choir Competition - Debrecen, Hajdú-Bihar county, Hungary
  3. International Choral Competition Maribor - Maribor, Slovenia
  4. Certamen Coral de Tolosa (Tolosa Choral Competition) - Tolosa, Basque Country, Spain
  5. Florilège Vocal de Tours (Tours Vocal Competition) - Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France
  6. International May Choir Competition «Prof. G. Dimitrov» - Varna, Varna Province, Bulgaria

Each individual contest is usually referred to by the name of its host city instead of the competition's official title. The grand prize winners of each contest are automatically eligible to compete at the GPE.

The hosting of each annual GPE competition is rotated among the six member cities.

History[edit]

The European Grand Prix for Choral Singing was created in 1988 through the initiative of the competitions of AREZZO (Italy), DEBRECEN (Hungary), GORIZIA (Italy) and TOURS (France) Two others have also been associated: VARNA (Bulgaria) in 1989, and TOLOSA (Basque Country/Spain) in 1990. In 2008 Gorizia stepped out of the Association and MARIBOR (Slovenia) join it.

Regulations[edit]

Eligibility[edit]

As mentioned earlier, the contest is open only to the grand prize winners of the six member European choral competitions in the previous year. In other words, if a choir wins the grand prize in any of the six cities' choral contests, it is eligible for then next year's GPE. Consequently, this also means that, unlike other choral competitions, the GPE does not solicit participants to the contest; no choir may directly apply or audition in order to join the GPE. If an eligible choir backs out, a substitute choir may take its place; as a penalty, any choir that backs out will not be eligible to compete in any of the six qualifying contests for the next year.

No choir may win the grand prize in more than one qualifying competition in a single year. For example, if a choir is named the grand prize winner in Arezzo, it is automatically disqualified to compete in the contests from the five remaining cities for the rest of the year.

There are no specific regulations prohibiting a former finalist (or even a former laureate) from competing in (or even winning again) the GPE more than once. The Philippine Madrigal Singers (laureate of the 1997 GPE) have won the 2006 Florilège Vocal de Tours,[5] going on to win the Grand Prize in 2007 in Arezzo, Italy. In the same competition, the Madrigal Singers competed with the Vesna Children's Choir (laureate of the 2000 GPE), who won the grand prize of the 2006 Tolosa competition.[6]

Repertoire and choir membership[edit]

Each competing choir is required to sing in the same group/category as they performed in respective competitions. Choirs are encouraged to perform songs from various eras and composers. Songs with accompaniment (by any instrument) are allowed as long as the total length of accompanied songs does not exceed ten (10) minutes. The host city determines the total maximum performance time allowed to each finalist.

Each competing choir is also required to have the same number of singers it had from the qualifying competition, plus or minus ten percent (10%) of that number. The total number of singers per choir may be a minimum of 12 singers and a maximum of 60 singers regardless of the number of voice sections or groups; this is because the eligibility requirements vary for each of the six qualifying competitions. Because of this, it is possible for mixed-voice choirs to compete directly against all-male and all-female choirs; it is also possible for children's choirs to compete against adult choirs (and even win, as in 2000 and 2001).

The grand prize winner[edit]

The GPE grand prize winner, or laureate, is awarded a diploma, a trophy and additional prizes to be determined by the host city, including a cash prize of up to 4,000 Euros (usually awarded).

The GPE winner is not allowed to compete in any international choral competition, member of the European Grand Prix Association, for two years.

Laureates[edit]

The following are the lists of grand prize winners for the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing.[7][8][9]

Laureates per year[edit]

Laureates of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing per year
Year Host Choir Director/Conductor City of Origin Country of Origin
1989 Arezzo Kammerkoret Hymnia Poul Emborg and Fleming Windekilde Copenhagen  Denmark
1990 Debrecen (postponed) NA NA NA
1991 Tours Chamber Choir of the Conservatoire Tadas Šumskas Vilnius  Lithuania
1992 Gorizia St Jacobs Kammarkör Gary Graden Stockholm  Sweden
1993 Varna Jauna Musica Vaclovas Augustinas and Romas Skapas Vilnius  Lithuania
1994 Tolosa The Mats Nilsson Vocal Ensemble Mats Nilsson Stockholm  Sweden
1995 Arezzo Kallos Choir Fumiaki Kuriyama Tokyo  Japan
1996 Debrecen Pro Musica Leánykar Dénes Szabó Nyíregyháza  Hungary
1997 Tours Philippine Madrigal Singers Andrea Veneracion Quezon City  Philippines
1998 Gorizia University of Mississippi Concert Singers Jerry Jordan Oxford, MS  United States
1999 Varna Lunds Vocal Ensemble Ingemar Månsson Lund  Sweden
2000 Tolosa Vesna Children Choir[a] Alexander Ponomariov Moscow  Russia
2001 Debrecen Magnificat Children's and Youth Choir Valéria Szebellédi Budapest  Hungary
2002 Arezzo A.P.Z. Tone Tomsic Stojan Kuret Ljubljana  Slovenia
2003 Tours Kamerinis choras Brevis Gintautas Venislovas Vilnius  Lithuania
2004 Gorizia Youth choir "Kamer..." Maris Sirmais Riga  Latvia
2005 Varna Allmänna Sången Cecilia Rydinger Alin Uppsala  Sweden
2006 Tolosa The University of Utah Singers Brady Allred Salt Lake City  United States
2007 Arezzo Philippine Madrigal Singers Mark Anthony Carpio Quezon City  Philippines
2008 Debrecen A.P.Z. Tone Tomsic Urša Lah Ljubljana  Slovenia
2009 Tours Coro Universitario de Mendoza Silvana Vallesi Mendoza  Argentina
2010 Varna Vokalna akademija Ljubljana Stojan Kuret Ljubljana  Slovenia
2011 Tolosa The Swedish Chamber Choir Simon Phipps Göteborg  Sweden
2012 Maribor Sofia Vokalensemble Bengt Ollén Stockholm  Sweden
2013 Arezzo Youth choir "Kamer..." Jānis Liepiņš Riga  Latvia
2014 Debrecen S:t Jacobs Ungdomskör Mikael Wedar Stockholm  Sweden
Total 25 laureates

Laureates per country[edit]

Laureates of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing per country
Country Laureates Notes
 Sweden 7 wins Four choirs from Stockholm
 Lithuania 3 wins All from Vilnius
 Slovenia 3 wins All from Ljubljana; APZ Tone Tomšič winning twice
 Hungary 2 wins
 United States 2 wins
 Philippines 2 wins Philippine Madrigal Singers winning twice
 Latvia 2 wins Jauniesu koris "Kamer..." winning twice
 Argentina 1 wins
 Denmark 1 win
 Japan 1 win
 Russia 1 win
Total 25 wins

Laureates per continent[edit]

Laureates of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing per continent
Continent Laureates
Europe 19 wins
Asia 3 wins
North America 2 wins
South America 1 win
Total 25 wins

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] List of winners at the 2007 Arezzo competition, including the GPE
  2. ^ [2] "Madrigal Singers win European Grand Prix for the second time". The Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 27, 2007.
  3. ^ List of winners at the 2008 EGP. From the official EGP website
  4. ^ Latvian Institute News page
  5. ^ [3] List of winners at the 2006 Florilege de Tours, from the official Florilege website.
  6. ^ [4]. News article in Spanish
  7. ^ [5] List of GPE Winners, from Florilege Vocal de Tours official website.
  8. ^ [6] List of GPE Winners, from GPE official website.
  9. ^ [7] List of GPE Winners, from Concurso Tolosa official website.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Link to Classical archives; not an official web site for the Vesna Children Choir

External links[edit]